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Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Announcing the New Director of ADVANCE

Headshot of Dawn Culpepper

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Dawn Culpepper as the new Director of the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellenceeffective July 1, 2023. In that role, Dr. Culpepper will guide the strategic direction of the ADVANCE Program, oversee its management and programs, and engage in translational research focused on faculty work-life issues. In partnership with the Office of Faculty Affairs, she will inform the development of critical faculty-related policies, procedures, guidance, and practice in such areas as faculty workload, inclusive hiring practices, and promotion. Initially funded by the National Science Foundation, the ADVANCE Program is now housed with the Office of Faculty Affairs and supported by each of the academic colleges, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Graduate School, the Office of Research, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and the Provost.

Dawn currently serves as a Research Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the ADVANCE Program. She is a nationally recognized higher education researcher and practitioner focused on creating academic work environments in which faculty members thrive.   Her research aims to identify organizational practices and policies that disrupt bias; enhance inclusion, equity, and representation; and foster conditions where faculty members are fully recognized and rewarded for their work. She has examined faculty hiring, workload, tenure and promotion, postdoctoral training programs, work-life integration, graduate education, and faculty-related COVID-19 policies. Her work has been published in top education and diversity-related journals, and she has led or served on numerous projects funded by the National Science Foundation. 

Dawn brings her research and practice expertise to ADVANCE. In collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Dawn has led efforts within ADVANCE to engage faculty search committees in inclusive hiring practices, to include designing and facilitating workshops for hundreds of UMD faculty members and training faculty and staff as Equity Coaches who lead inclusive hiring workshops. Dawn also leads TerpAllies workshops that give academics skills to intervene when they observe bias. She has co-led/supervised numerous faculty peer networks. She also collaborates with departments/units to design customized workshops, tools, and resources that promote diversity and equity in context-specific ways. In addition to programs, Dawn regularly advises campus leaders on matters of faculty inclusion, equity, and development in various domains.

Our campus community has benefited greatly from Dawn’s expertise, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as she assumes the ADVANCE directorship. 

I want to thank Dr. Linda Steiner, Professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, for her outstanding leadership as the Director of ADVANCE for the past three years. As Director, Linda has been a tireless advocate for ADVANCE and the broader faculty community across campus. I wish her well as she returns fully to her faculty role.

Please join me in thanking Linda and in welcoming Dawn into this important role.


Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost